NEA Corruption
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The United States Department of Education
Also Knew About the Corrupt Practices of the
& the
California Teachers Association

 The National Education A$$ociation and the
California Teachers Association REFUSES to Help Members! 

Teachers and Professional Educators, TAKE A LOOK at THIS!

Find out, in this letter, what the US Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights KNEW about the National Education A$$ociation, the California Teachers Association, and the Victor Elementary Teachers Association and did ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to stop these unethical practices!

I "served" for three years as the Treasurer of the Victor Elementary Teachers Association, the local NEA/CTA Chapter that "represented" teachers at one our nation's newest "National Blue Ribbon Schools". About all I observed was blatant corruption and unethical practices. While both NEA and CTA were aware of these things - THEY DID NOTHING to stop these from continuing. If you're a member of NEA, I would highly recommend that you demand an explanation now.

July 28, 1998
 
 

United States Department of Education
Office for Civil Rights
50 United Nations Plaza, Room 239
San Francisco, CA 94102

Dear OCR:

As part of my attempt to assist students and teachers from the horrible things I observed while I was employed by the Victor Elementary School District, I decided to run for Treasurer of the Victor Elementary Teachers' Association. From the very beginning of my employment with Victor Elementary School District, I believed that Victor Elementary Teachers Association and the local representative for the state and national associations (California Teachers Association and the National Teachers Association) Bill Ribblett, were corrupt and intentionally ignored the needs of both students and teachers. (I observed Bill Ribblett, at a meeting held for all district teachers, before school began during my first year, conduct a "vote" on whether or not to change the insurance policy for all teachers within the district - both members and nonmembers of the association were present and allowed to vote. No written notification, of any kind, had been provided to anyone and everyone present at the meeting was allowed to "vote".) Needless to say, I was elected and served for three full years. Nothing I observed during my service on the Executive Board of Victor Elementary Teachers Association ever changed my mind to the contrary. Due to the horrible personal experiences I had within the district, as well as the grossly unethical behavior (and, I believe, illegal actions) that I observed, it is now important for me to respond to what I saw. Finally, I want to state that I have always supported both CTA and NEA - in fact, since I left Victor Elementary School District, CTA has provided some assistance to me which was required because of the amount of stress that I had experienced during my employment at Lomitas Elementary School. I have been employed for the last two years with the ******* School District (****) and have never experienced anything that even vaguely resembles my experiences with Victor Elementary School District. Additionally, as **** is located more than 100 miles from my old employer, the local CTA/NEA representative is completely different (in other words, she is a competent, caring individual concerned with the rights of teachers and the children we serve). My experiences with this representative and the local association here have been, quite literally, nothing less than surreal when compared with what I experienced with Victor Elementary Teachers Association. As a result of these extreme differences, I have continued to try and communicate with CTA during the course of the last two years concerning the gross negligence I observed in Victorville. Surprisingly, CTA (at the state level) seems to ignore this communication.. I suspect it is because there are some in Burlingame (CA) that know what I am saying is absolutely true but wish to keep this quiet because it would cause great embarrassment if it were to be known outside of the organization. I strongly believe it is now essential for me to take my concerns elsewhere - that is the only ethical choice remaining. This, however, causes me a great deal of stress because I must now report an organization which, as a whole, I believe has done much to assist teachers. I strongly believe that both children and teachers are continuing to be harmed in Victorville and I have also seen how radically different things are here with the ******* School District.

While I know that OCR probably does not have jurisdiction over what is contained in this packet of materials, I would like to request that this be forward it to the any/all appropriate labor enforcement agencies that do.

Some of the illegal activities I observed while on the Executive Board of the Victor Elementary Teachers Association include:

  1. Bill Ribblett's "insurance" vote listed above,
  2. Failure of the association to deposit membership income for a period of at least three years. When I first became Treasurer of Victor Elementary Teachers Association, I personally recovered approximately $14,000 (Fourteen Thousand Dollars) of membership money that had been "lost" and never deposited by the previous the Victor Elementary Teachers Association Executive Board. In order to recover these funds, I wrote to CTA state headquarters. The CTA office, in turn, had to research their ledgers (they went back approximately three years) and found that monthly membership dues checks were not being deposited by Victor Elementary Teachers Association. There is the possibility that there could be even more money but that was never researched.
  3. A photocopy machine was purchased by the association from Bill Ribblett's office. This was placed in the home of then Victor Elementary Teachers Association President *** *****. It has remained there ever since, has not been used for Victor Elementary Teachers Association business, and has, apparently, been used only for the personal needs of *** **** - even after he resigned from the association.
  4. **** *********, the next Victor Elementary Teachers Association president, borrowed approximately $2,000 from the Victor Elementary Teachers Association treasury to go on vacation. (The check that was cashed was supposed to have been used to send him to the CTA State Presidents Conference.) These funds were paid back several weeks later. An audit of Victor Elementary Teachers Association books will verify this.
  5. As mentioned elsewhere - contract negotiations between Victor Elementary School District and Victor Elementary Teachers Association were never confidential. Two examples - *** *****, the Victor Elementary Teachers Association President mentioned above, quit the association after his term as president. As *** was one of the district "good 'ole boys," he and his buddies were bragging about what they knew about negotiations issues at a party - even before the Victor Elementary Teachers Association Executive Board was aware of this information. ******* *******, chairperson of the Victor Elementary Teachers Association negotiation team, also told me that she had discussed confidential negotiations issues with Denise Edge, principal of Lomitas Elementary School. Generally speaking, Victor Elementary Teachers Association Executive Board Members were often last to hear about any negotiation issues.
  6. Victor Elementary Teachers Association Elections (including those that were held for CTA/NEA) were, as a rule, anything but honest. A few examples:

A. Only 22 Victor Elementary Teachers Association members were able to vote during the final contract ratification that was held while I was in the district - even though there were approximately 300 teachers (I don't know how many of these belonged to the association) in the district. The reason for this is that no one knew about the election - those of us at Lomitas Elementary School found out about it at the end of the school day, as we were walking out of the door to go home - no notice had been posted until that time - approximately a half hour before this "contract ratification".

B. One CTA/NEA election had to be held a second time because teachers were not given any opportunity to vote in it and, in fact, were never even informed about it (Attachment A). This election was finally re-held for the entire region (not just teachers within Victor Elementary School District) because **** **** failed to properly inform the associations within his region. It was only because I had, once again, gone above his head to CTA that this election was re-held - had I not done so, a very large number of CTA/NEA members would have been denied an opportunity to vote in a CTA/NEA election.

C. Even though elections were held, candidates were not notified of the outcomes. For example, I had served on the Victor Elementary School District Mentor Teacher Selection Committee for many years. The only reason I ran for this position was due to the fact that Victor Elementary School District was notorious for selecting unqualified, inexperienced "good 'ole boys" as mentors - it was just another way for district administrators to reward, financially, some of their puppets. Victor Elementary School District did not like it when some of us were elected to this committee (which contained school administrators, "community members" selected by the district, and teachers) because we would insist that honesty and integrity were components of the selection process. As mentioned in other documents I've sent to OCR, two of these mentors, **** **** and **** ****, both served (I believe **** **** may still be serving) jail time for child molestation (Attachment B). There were many times when teachers with just one and two years of experience were selected as "mentors." There were other times when, the committee would be bypassed entirely and school principals would select these "mentors." **** ****, by the way, served as the chairperson of Victor Elementary Teachers Association elections on more than one occasion. One of the final things I observed during my employment with Victor Elementary School District was that an election for Victor Elementary Teachers Association positions was held and the teacher representatives for the Mentor Teacher Committee were selected. While I was never notified by Victor Elementary Teachers Association that I was one of the successful candidates for the committee, I did receive less than 24 hours notice, from Lynne Bunnell, the Victor Elementary School District "Curriculum Coordinator" that I had a committee meeting to attend. When I called to complain that I had never been notified by the association that I had been elected and was also not given adequate time to prepare lesson plans for a substitute for my class, Lynne Bunnell and the Victor Elementary School District "removed" me as an officially elected member of the committee, without the consent of the association, and required that I still sit in on the meeting as a nonvoting "substitute." By the way, I forgot to mention that **** *****, as a Victor Elementary School District administrator, had almost no classroom experience herself (like most other Victor Elementary School District administrators) - approximately two years actual experience, and yet had already served in several district administrative capacities such as a principal.

D. Every classroom in the district was searched, illegally, over a period of time . This search was conducted by a "janitorial management team" of classified Victor Elementary School District employees who had bestowed upon themselves the task of searching for such "contraband" as "white out" and classroom scissors. All district classrooms were searched extensively, during the school day while instruction was taking place. My school, Lomitas Elementary School, was the last in the district to be searched. When I called to report this to **** *******, Victor Elementary Teachers Association President, I was informed that "this wasn't a problem because his father had been a union representative at an orange packing company and that he (his father) used to complain about the same thing - even though it wasn't really a problem," Once again, the association ignored the needs of the children and their teachers. As teachers at all of the schools were furious about this gross lack of concern for the educational environment, I wrote a letter to CTA about the situation. Bill Ribblett responded with little more than a rather sarcastic letter about the incident and, once again, did nothing. It was not until a petition was taken up at Lomitas Elementary School that anyone took notice. At that time, Ralph Baker, Victor Elementary School District Superintendent, decided that perhaps something illegal had occurred and apologized, rather profusely, to the "Contract Waiver Council" because so many teachers, at all ten Victor Elementary School District schools, were upset about the search. Copies of much of this correspondence have been attached (Attachment C). Again, Bill Ribblett did absolutely nothing about this situation.

E. The "Contract Waiver Council" is another issue. This "council" is comprised of district administrators and teachers from each school. Even though this committee is very loosely defined, it has the "authority" to waive any item in the contract between teachers and the district. While only association members are supposed to be members of this committee there were many times when items were "waived" by those who were not Victor Elementary Teachers Association members. This committee functions (if one can call it that) with neither the consent nor approval of either the Victor Elementary Teachers Association Executive Board or the Victor Elementary Teachers Association contract negotiation committee.

F. Employee/Employer Health Insurance Trust - This was another one of Bill's "ideas". He formed this "Trust" with administrators from several school districts to provide "health insurance benefits" for teachers. From the very beginning, the "Trust" appeared to be an extremely dishonest business venture. It is my understanding that, after several years of existence, it is in the process of being disbanded. (Apparently, it has almost been placed in receivership by the state of California.)

G. While teachers pay enormous amounts of money to Victor Elementary Teachers Association/CTA/NEA for membership dues, almost no benefits are received . In addition, the refusal of Victor Elementary Teachers Association/CTA/NEA to assist member teachers through Bill Ribblett's office has destroyed many careers and lives. Other than receiving a monthly newspaper from CTA, members receive essentially no assistance for anything. CTA/NEA are essentially nonexistent entities in the High-Desert region of Southern California.

Attached are copies of letters and other correspondence I have had with CTA over the course of the past several years (Attachment D). These should help substantiate many of the issues I have stated here.

Respectfully,

*****************

 

 

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